WATCH: Massive explosion rocked US Air Force Station prior to Israeli satellite launch

 

view videoTremendous explosion felt for miles around of an unmanned test rocket during a routine test destroyed the SpaceX launch site in Florida, which was supposed to carry an Israeli communications satellite over the weekend.

By The Associated Press

 

An explosion rocked a SpaceX launch site Thursday during a routine rocket test. SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred shortly after 9am, according to NASA. The test was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Buildings several miles away shook from the blast, and multiple explosions continued for several minutes. Dark smoke filled the overcast sky. A half-hour later, a black cloud hung low across the eastern horizon.

Additional details were not immediately available. There was no immediate word on any injuries; the launch pad usually is cleared before a test firing of a SpaceX Falcon rocket.

SpaceX spokesman, John Taylor, said he could not comment as he worked to gather information.

NASA explosion in Florida

NASA—SpaceX’s major customer—said the explosion occurred at Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force station, and Kennedy emergency staff was on standby. At the same time, personnel were monitoring the air for any toxic fumes.

The rocket was supposed to hoist an Israeli communications satellite this weekend.

The initial blast sounded like lightning, but was followed by the sounds of more explosions. SpaceX is one of two companies shipping supplies to the space station for NASA. It’s also working on a crew capsule to ferry station U.S. astronauts; that first flight was supposed to come as early as next year.

Smoke fills Florida’s sky

Two NASA astronauts were conducting a spacewalk 250 miles up, outside the International Space Station, when the explosion occurred. Mission Control did not immediately advise them of the accident.

Photo: AP

The explosion is a setback for SpaceX. The California-based company, led by billionaire Elon Musk, had been ramping up with frequent launches to make up for a backlog created by a launch accident in June 2015. SpaceX was leasing the pad from the Air Force for its Falcon launches.

The company is also redoing a former shuttle pad at Kennedy for future manned flights for NASA.

 

View original Ynet publication at:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4849237,00.html

One comment

  1. israelandstuffcom says:

    UPDATE:

    The Israeli communications satellite also exploded at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, destroying the $85 million device.

    The Israel Space Agency said in a statement that during the fueling of the missile launcher, an explosion occurred that led to the satellite’s total loss, which will have a “substantial affect on the Agency,” it said.

    The Amos 6 satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and owned by Spacecom Ltd., was heading into space for a 16-year mission that was meant to serve Facebook, bring Internet connectivity to Africa and television service to providers in Europe and the Middle East.

    —> Taken from The Jerusalem Post

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